Race Report -”Open Track/Öppet Spår” – 90km of cross country skiing

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Suddenly I felt someone touching my bum! I was double pooling, I had done 45 km of cross country skiing of the ”Öppet Spår race.” I felt it again. I turned my head to ask what on earth the person beside me was doing.
”Hi there!” a voice said. I looked up and realised to my joy that it was Alvar. Alvar is my mentor and he changed my life 1 1/2 years ago. I have been diabetic since May 2010, I have always loved sports but in the summer of 2012 I was so close to give it all up. I did a 1/2 Ironman, during the cycling my blood sugar (bg) hit 25 and Alvar saw my race report. He emailed me and said ” Hi, well done, I’m also diabetic type 1 and it so nice to see someone who is into long distance sports. I have been diabetic since 1973 and I got an insulin pump. Its great for training”. Alvar changed my attitude towards my own diabetes.
So you can realise my joy to see him! Among the 6000 skiers he was the one I really wanted to see, we have only seen each other three times in real life.
Alvar said” How are you getting on?” I started to tell him everything about my bg; I started at 6,1, after 2 hours I had 19 and now I’m on my way down” Josefin, I don’t care about you bg( which he of course does) , I mean, what is it like to ski, to be on snow again”?
”Ohh, that is amazing!! ”Alvars question made me realise that everything is not just blood sugar control, its about the love for the sport/skiing and nature if anything!
I did the Öppet Spår ”Open Track” as a part of a NovoNordisk study. NN had together with Doctor Peter Adolfsson who is an expert in sports and diabetes type 1 together with Stig Mattsson who is nutrients for the Swedish Cross Country Star Charlotte Kalla set up a SKI TEAM NOVONORDISK. I was one of the lucky eight to be able to do the Öppet spår.
The NN study was to find out if we [diabetic type 1:s] would be able to perform better if we would drink a lot of carbs during the race. In January we went on a training camp at Selma Spa in Sunne in mid -Sweden to practice this to find out on a individual basis how much insulin we would need to (try to) keep the bg at a level around 6. If the bg is above 10, (Dr Adolfsson taught me yesterday) the kidney need to work harder which means you cant perform as well as if your bg is under 10.
So how did it go? Since I normally prefer to eat a low carb diet I was a bite stressed to drink at least 0,5 litres per hour of energy drink. (Therefore I have done to test races of 42 km each the last month. ) I started at mentioned before at 6,1 , went up to 18, had insulin and went down to around 4,5 for the last two hours of the race. Thanks to my CGM both in my Animas Vibe pump and a Dexcom receiver I could check my bg during the race. I wore my pump in a AnnaPS singlet which got special pockets under the armpits for the pump and the bg meter. I finished my 90 km in 8 hours and 14 minutes.
But to Dr Adolfsson´s joy I have to admit I was much stronger with this high level of carbs during the race. I felt much fresher during the race and , perhaps even more, after the race. I got blisters in my hands today, but that is more or less all. I have done the 90 km distance three times before with good results but I have been working so much harder for the same time range.
I would like to thank NovoNordisk in Sweden and in Denmark so very very much for allowing me to be a part of Ski Team NovoNordisk. I did the mHealth Grand Tour last September, road cycling from Brussels to Barcelona and I got a great respect for the Team NovoNordisk cycling guys. I am so very proud to wear the same clothes as they do! Thank you!
I would also like to thank Stig Mattson and Dr Peter Adolfsson for all the help and support they have helped me and the rest of Ski Team NovoNordisk with.
Henrik at Rubin Medical, who also is diabetic type one and did the same race an hour faster than me, must also be mentioned. Henrik is always helping me out when I got questions regarding my animas Vibe insulin pump.
Last but not least, thank you Alvar for reminding me of why I signed up for Ski Team NovoNordisk- due to my love for sport and cross country skiing!

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